Cardinal players selected
in MLB amateur draft
by Rick Eymer
It has been a busy week for the Stanford baseball team, and that doesn't even include this weekend's games against North Carolina in an NCAA Super Regional in Chapel Hill, N.C.
The annual Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft was held earlier this week with six Stanford players selected.
Stanford closer Chris Reed was selected in the first round of the first year amateur player draft with the 16th overall selection, as the star lefthander was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
"I think he can definitely start," Dodgers' assistant GM Logan White said. "He's big, strong. He throws 92-95 (mph) with a hard slider 80-85 and actually has a good changeup. I could see him become one of our best left-handed pitching prospects. I definitely want to make him a starter."
Reed is the second Stanford closer in three seasons to go in the first round, joining current National closer, Drew Storen, the 10th overall pick in the 2009 draft.
Reed, who went undrafted out of high school, was a surprise to a lot of people. He went from barely pitching his first two years to rising star as a junior.
"I think it was a matter of evolving," Reed said. "I was working hard but things weren't working out last year. I just set my mind to do it. This is what I wanted to do as a career. I changed my mechanics a little bit with my hip drive but just getting innings was huge for me. I got the feel for pitching."
Reed also said a 10 minute conversation in the fall with Storen was a big help.
"He told me to establish my fastball and taught me to pitch to my strengths," Reed said. "I still remember it."
Storen, who was in town for a series against the San Francisco Giants earlier this week, also remembered the conversation.
"I told him the same things (Stanford grad) Jeff Austin told me," Storen said. "He was a freshman when I was there and I could see he looked different in the fall. He had some moxie about him. I saw him close the game out against Fullerton. He looked good."
The Dodgers drafted him to be a starter and that's just fine with Reed.
"I want to be a starter," Reed said. "My changeup is not fully developed and I love throwing that pitch. It helps keep hitters off balance. I know it's a process and I have to be happy with where I am from where I started."
Reed ranked third in the Pac-10 with nine saves in 11 attempts and has a 1.80 ERA in 27 relief appearances. Overall he has a 2.54 ERA after starting the second game of the year and giving up seven earned runs in 4.2 inning loss. The rest of the season, the lefthander has given up seven earned runs over 45.0 innings with a 6-1 record. He was an honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection.
Stanford has now had 14 first round picks since 1997 and 22 for head coach Mark Marquess in his 35 years on The Farm.
Stanford pitchers Scott Snodgress and Jordan Pries were drafted Tuesday on the second of three days of the First Year Player Draft.
Snodgress (2-2, 4.65) was selected in the fifth round by the White Sox, giving the Cardinal two picks in the first five rounds for first time since 2008.
Pries (6-5, 3.24) was picked in the 30th round by the Seattle Mariners. He's allowed one earned run over his last 22 innings and was named Tournament MVP at the Fullerton Regional over the weekend.
On the third day of the draft, Stanford catcher Zach Jones was taken in the 34th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks, injured lefthander Brett Mooneyham was picked by the Washington Nationals in the 38th round while the San Francisco Giants took right-hander Danny Sandbrink in the 42nd round.
Cardinal recruit Alex Blandino of St. Francis was taken by the Oakland A's in the 38th round.
Stanford first baseman Brian Ragira was named a Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball, as the Arlington, Texas native and the Cardinal (35-20) are currently preparing for its Super Regional at North Carolina starting on Friday at noon (PT).
The team's RBI leader with 43 RBI, Ragira has started 52 games at first base after not playing the position in high school, fielding at .993 clip. Third on the team in batting, at .320, Ragira is also among the Pac-10 leaders in triples with five. He was named the Pac-10's Freshman of the Year and was an honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection.
One of the most consistent hitters all season for the Cardinal, Ragira became just the third player since 1993 to hit for the cycle, against Santa Clara, and also drove in seven runs at Washington State.
NOTES: Former Stanford infielder Cord Phelps, a former third-round pick, will become Stanford's 87th Major League player after being called up by the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday night. Phelps was hitting .299 with 40 RBI and 31 runs over 53 games at Triple-A Columbus, after batting .317 in Columbus last year and .296 at Double-A Akron. In 338 career minor league games, Phelps hit .288 with 193 runs and 169 RBI. In his first full minor league season in 2009 for Single-A Kinston, Phelps hit .261 but had 93 walks over 130 games with 72 runs and 27 doubles. A third-round pick in 2008, Phelps hit .307 in three seasons at Stanford with 115 runs and 91 career RBI, finishing his career sixth all-time for a single season with 76 runs during his .351 College World Series season in 2008. Stanford has had a Major League player in each of the past 54 seasons. Currently, Stanford has eight in the majors with Phelps.